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2015 Brings Changes To The Deans Office
Georgia Greene '17 Staff Writer
September 16, 2015

For the 2015-2016 school year, the Dean of Students office will undergo the following changes: Mr. Toby Emerson will step down from the Dean’s office to return to full-time teaching, and for the first time, the underclassman dean position will be split into two separate roles, with a dean for the freshman class and a dean for the sophomore class. Becca Sherburne will be stepping up as the Freshman Class Dean, and Sam Bicknell will serve as the Sophomore Class Dean.

Photo Credit: Gwyneth Hochhausler.
Photo Credit: Gwyneth Hochhausler.

In her new position, Ms. Sherburne’s biggest focus is the new Freshman Village. “My main goal is to see the Village succeed, in whatever way that may mean,” she said. “I am really looking forward to seeing where this project will lead us in the future, and how it will impact the student body.” Ms Sherburne added that she is “especially excited to work with the rest of the dean team, and learn from the wisdom of the more experienced deans, like Ms. Creagh and Mr. Kelly.”

Though Ms. Sherburne is very excited about her new role, and the responsibilities that come with it, she is wary that her deanship could influence her relationship with students. “I know that my role could lead to some hesitancy towards me from students, which would be really sad, but understandable.”

Similarly, Mr. Bicknell said, “I hope that the way students and faculty interact with me doesn’t change, but I understand that my position can come with a certain aura that can skew those interactions a little bit. My hope is that I’m the same Mr. Bicknell that people have come to know, but more present in the community.”

For the beginning of this year, Mr. Bicknell is hoping to get to know as many students on campus as possible, and as the year progresses, he hopes “to be consistent and to communicate often with students and faculty.”

“There’s a lot of unknown that comes with this position, and it’s going to take me some time to get on my feet and get a good idea of what exactly is going on in the Dean’s office,” Mr. Bicknell said, “but it’s such a great opportunity to interact with the entire community, and create a more positive environment in the Dean’s office and on campus.”

Mr. Emerson mentioned that though he is very excited to be back in the classroom full time, he will miss working with Mr. Kelly and Ms. Creagh. “Especially Ms. Creagh,” he added, “We have been together in that office for eight years.”

In terms of student relationships, perhaps Mr. Emerson’s experience as a Dean can help ease some of Ms. Sherburne and Mr. Bicknell’s nerves. He explained that though his relationship with students “certainly changed,” these changes weren’t necessarily negative, as “ the opportunity to work with students in different ways was a certain advantage the Dean of Students job offered.”

One piece of advice Mr. Emerson would give to the new deans is the the following: “Create a trust and never take yourself too seriously.”